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What is PAM?

Privileged Access Management (PAM): inclusion in the organizational cybersecurity strategy is of paramount importance. It is designed to protect an IT environment from risks associated with privileges and acts as a risk-preventive hedge against possible lapses. 

The Significance of Privileged Access Management

The importance of PAM stems from the potential risks and threats associated with the misuse of privileged access. Such accounts, therefore, are an ideal target for attacks by cyber attackers, since they provide broad and deeper access to an IT environment.


This includes facilitation for theft of sensitive information, installation of malicious software, among other cybercrimes.


PAM serves to be an effective guard, which helps in securing that none other than authorized users are allowed to access the system and critical data; thereby, it minimizes scope against security breaches.


Key Challenges Addressed by PAM

Over-provisioning of Access

Without PAM, the organization might unintentionally over-provide access rights to the users than required, which again increases both internal and external breach risks.

Lack of Visibility

IT Admin has a lack of visibility in knowing who has what access and is bound to make it hard in order to detect and alert any possible unauthorized access.

Weak or Too Weak Access Controls

PAM installs very strict access controls that assure a user is confined only to the access that can be performed by their roles.

Audit and Compliance

PAM solutions ensure organizational adherence to regulatory compliance requirements by the use of detailed access logs and reports.

Benefits of Implementing PAM

Enhanced Compliance

The PAM solution does help the organization meet the regulatory compliance criterion of strong controls over privileged accounts.

Better Accountability

PAM provides full audit trails of all privileged activities to help in incident response and possibly discover misuse.

Reduces Operational Risk

PAM reduces shared account usage and ensures implementing least privilege by preventing accidental data breaches that mostly occur as a result of human errors.

Core Functionalities of a PAM Solution

Privileged Account Lifecycle Management

All with a single tool that streamlines the lifecycle of a privileged account from provisioning to deprovisioning.

Session Management

Controls and monitors privileged sessions. The ability should include session recording and termination.

Elevation of Privilege and Delegation Safely

Allows temporary granting of access to privileged accounts based on defined policies.

Reports & Audits

Offers reports of privileged activity to the teams in security to identify suspicious behavior and analysis of trend.

Types of Privileged Accounts

Administrative Accounts

Full access to systems for effective management of user privileges, system configurations, and installation of software.

Service Accounts

Service accounts are used by automatically running processes like JSON even, as a necessity for some applications or services, with specific rights that do not require direct human control.

Application to Application (A2A) Accounts

A2A accounts further allow the automation of interactions between applications, for example, in data sharing or service requests, and usually work with the highest privileges required for inter-application communication.

Emergency Accounts

These accounts are generally known as "break glass" level accounts: the highest level accounts to be used in situations considered to be of paramount importance, e.g., mission-critical instances, when normal admin accounts are not available.

Emergency Accounts

Who Needs PAM?

PAM is a critical security solution for any organization dealing with sensitive data or critical infrastructure.

Financial institutions

Enterprises with large IT infrastructures

Healthcare providers

Businesses that handle sensitive customer data

PAM Best Practices

Discovery and Inventory

Identify All Privileged Accounts: It's crucial to encompass not only user accounts but also service, application, and shared accounts in your privileged account list.

Maintain an Accurate Inventory: Periodically reviewing and updating this inventory ensures an up-to-date and accurate record of privileged accounts.

Session Monitoring and Logging

Monitor and Log All Privileged Sessions: This practice is vital for tracking user activity and identifying any suspicious behavior, thus enhancing security oversight.

Enable Session Recording: Keeping a record of all activities within privileged user sessions aids in forensic analysis during security incidents, providing valuable insights into potential breaches.

Access Control

Least Privilege Principle: This foundational security principle involves granting users only the minimum level of access necessary for job performance.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): RBAC helps in defining access permissions based on user roles and functions, streamlining access management.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Adding an extra layer of security to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

Just-In-Time (JIT) Privileging

Grant Temporary Access: By providing privileged access only for the duration necessary to complete a specific task, organizations can minimize the risk window associated with elevated permissions.

Automate Privilege Elevation: Automating the process of granting and subsequently revoking privileged access according to predefined rules enhances both security and operational efficiency.

Explore Infisign's PAM feature, Take one step forward to enhanced security.

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